OPEC will not cut output: Iraq's Oil Minister

OPEC firm on battling it out with other major oil producers, the US and Russia, for market share

A file photo of an OPEC press conference.
A file photo of an OPEC press conference.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will stick to its decision on December 4 to maintain a policy of not limiting production, despite the drop in global prices, Iraq's oil minister said on Sunday.

Adel Abdul Mahdi added that any output reduction aimed at boosting prices would have to be coordinated with non-members.

"We are in a real world, OPEC is not the only producer or the only player. So we have to see what the decisions of others should be - Russia and the United States and other producers," Adel Abdul Mahdi told Reuters on the sidelines of an Arab oil producers' meeting in Cairo.

"OPEC can't take a unilateral decision, for example, to cut production while others raise production. Either we all go to cut production to really defend prices or we have to wait and see," he said in an interview.

"We can't repeat those old experiences of OPEC and then lose both, lose production and the prices. Because now many other producers are capable of really raising their production. We are sticking with it (the December 4 OPEC decision in Vienna)," he asserted.

Global oil prices tumbled after the members of OPEC failed to agree to a ceiling on their oil production, which has already been running at near record levels since last year, in an attempt to drive higher-cost producers such as US shale drillers out of the market.

In addition new supplies are likely to hit the market next year as Iran ramps up production after sanctions are lifted, creating fears of a growing supply glut.

Front-month Brent crude futures closed at below $37 a barrel on Friday.

Abdul-Mahdi said he hoped oil prices would rebound but he did not ‘think it will be tomorrow’.

"We can see that the price doesn't correspondent with the cost in most oilfields. This is not logical," he said.

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